Rahul’s research focuses on understanding how transcription factors guide the differentiation and function of immune cells called T lymphocytes. Rahul’s group applies diverse approaches in molecular biology, cellular immunology and functional genomics to investigate how lymphocyte behaviour is controlled in the context of infections, autoimmunity and cancer. His research aims to identify targets for a new class of therapies that will powerfully manipulate immune function in patients with autoimmunity, chronic infection and cancer.
Rahul studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge before training in Clinical Medicine at King's College London. His early post-doctoral work in Gary Nabel’s laboratory at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explored heterogeneity in transcription factor expression at the single-cell level during immune responses to infection. His later work in Nick Restifo’s lab at the National Cancer Institute explored the function of key transcription factors in guiding lymphocyte differentiation. This work established the central role of a basic leucine-zipper transcription factor BACH2 in maintenance of immunological tolerance.
His current work focuses on how T-cell fate decisions are controlled by external stimuli, how transcription factors collaborate and compete with each other to achieve contextual regulation of gene expression and cellular differentiation and how polymorphisms in regulatory elements make humans susceptible to immune-mediated disease.